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There are some wonderful, dare I say, magical perks to working out at home, but the thing about a home gym is that you may not have commercial-level equipment that gives you the same workout as you get in a commercial-level gym. This is 2022 friends—time to change that! You can have a commercial-level gym experience complete with a killer exercise bike in your home gym.

And this is especially true when finding the best exercise bike for your home gym. And who doesn’t love an exercise bike? They give you a heart-pumping cardio workout that burns calories while you can do other things, like catch up on Netflix or take a work call.

Here’s the hangup: In a sea of options, how do you know what equipment to purchase? You want the best bang for your buck, doggone it! I want to help you with that. What can I say? You’re our people. 

We’ve compiled 10 of the best exercise bikes that we’ve tested at all budget levels, so no matter how much you plan to spend, you can get a great bike. And if you need to save on space, check out our best folding exercise bikes roundup. 

Why You Should Trust Us

The entire Garage Gym Reviews team came together to debate every exercise bike they’ve ever used, whether at their own home gym, a commercial gym, or at the GGR headquarters before naming our favorites. We took things like footprint, price, tech features, workout experience, comfortability, adjustability, and durability into account. 

And it’s not like any of us are strangers to exercise bikes; many of us use them on a daily basis, so we know what a good one should feel like. And as always, we’re fair but honest with what we think about them and will call out anything we feel you should know about a product so you can find the best fit for your needs. 

10 Best Exercise Bikes for Home Gyms 

Video Review

Best Air Bike: Rogue Echo Bike

Good for: People who want a really hard workout from an extremely durable bike

4.54
Best for CrossFit
Rogue Echo Bike
Rogue Echo Bike

The Rogue Echo Bike is durable due to its heavy-duty steel, high quality engineering, and customization that drives it to be stronger than the average fan bike. It is under warranty for up to two years from the date of purchase, assuming that the product is used under normal conditions per the User Guide. Since it is overbuilt, it creates a smoother ride. The Rogue Echo Bike is 127 pounds and has a 350-pound weight limit, which allows it to provide a sturdy foundation for max-outs and outbursts. The Echo Bike is quiet yet consistent due to its belt-driven steel fan blade. It is easily portable and has a battery powered LCD console that lets athletes track everything from distance to calories burned. Due to its weight, the Echo Bike stands sturdy and is not prone to wobbling. Its construct lends itself to balance even when pushed to max output bursts. To add to the stability, there are rubber leveling feet under each base tube that adapt to the ground and create balance even if the floor is not level. The 6.375-inch by 6.37-inch LCD console provides the athlete with a variety of modes. These include different types of intervals, target, and heart rate tracking. The crystal clear console uses two AA batteries, which come with the purchase of the bike. The Echo Bike is finished in a black powdercoat and the steel tubing is 2-by-3 inches, 1.25-by-3 inches, and 1.625-by-3.12 inches. The seat is easily adjustable and padded. It locks into eight different heights and five different front-to-back settings. The grip handles, which are made of rubber and are 1.5 inches in diameter, are a part of the bike’s arms. There is a plate that is provided along with 4.5 inches long rating foot pegs and pedals. You do have to assemble the Echo Bike, but the tools you need are included with your order and align with easy to follow instructions. The fully constructed bike may sound overbearing, but Rouge has included a 1-inch wide set of wheels at the front of the unit, which allows it to easily be rolled around the gym. 

Pros:

  • Steel construction that supports up to 350 pounds
  • Belt drive system that is low maintenance
  • Easy to use – you can hop on and get started
  • Simple assembly

Cons:

  • Priced around $800
  • No fancy touchscreen; just a simple LCD monitor for your stats
  • No heart rate monitor but compatible with some wearable heart rate sensors
  • Programs simply include manual or interval mode
  • Two-year warranty

Looking for a bike that is the most likely to survive the Apocalypse? Rogue definitely outdid themselves when they released the Rogue Echo Air Bike. The Rogue Echo Bike is a well-built machine that is basically a deconstructed version of a Rogue squat rack. With its combined rock-solid foundation and smooth ride, it’s at the top of the game. It uses a belt drive system that requires virtually no maintenance and a monitor that tracks useful metrics.

Picture of the Rogue Echo Bike in a driveway

It is relatively heavy at 127 pounds, but it has wheels on the front that make it easier to move. The seat adjusts vertically with eight settings and horizontally with five. It’s an air bike, so there are no manually or digitally adjustable resistance levels. Instead, the steel fan picks up more resistance the faster it moves. In other words: You dictate how hard your workout is.

If you want to be absolutely smoked at the end of a workout without having to learn a lot of technique or put a lot of thought into it, the Rogue Echo Bike is king. In fact, I’ve picked it as my top choice for the best air bike for the past several years.

Oh, and if you’re looking for the best bike for CrossFit, the Rogue Echo Bike is the official air bike of the CrossFit Games so you can’t do much better than that. This bike can also be found in tons of CrossFit affiliate gyms. 

Read our in-depth Rogue Echo Air Bike Review here.

Best Peloton Alternative: NordicTrack S22i

Good for: Cyclists who want to mimic the road riding experience with incline and decline training

Best Peloton Alternative
NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike
NordicTrack S22i Studio Bike

Join high energy studio classes, mountain bike rides in Moab, or ride a Tour de France stage all from the comfort of your home. Access on-demand classes with the world's best personal trainers for beginners or the hard-core cyclist. Interactive Personal Training comes to life as your personal trainer controls the incline, decline and resistance of your ride, a truly Interactive Experience.

Pros:

  • -10% decline to 20% incline levels
  • 24 levels of digital magnetic resistance
  • Interactive iFIT programming
  • Lots of conveniences

Cons:

  • Priced around $1,900
  • Intricate assembly process
  • Large screen makes it a little difficult to move
  • You have to keep this inside your home versus your garage—otherwise NordicTrack will cancel your warranty

If you can swallow the $1,900 price tag, the NordicTrack S22i is one of the best cycle bikes on the market for people looking for immersive, realistic indoor riding. It’s rare to find a bike that does incline training, let alone both incline and decline training. The S22i literally simulates riding on hills by moving the front of the bike up or down.

As much as I’m sure we all wish we could spend nearly $2,000 on a manual treadmill without blinking, most of us may not want to. You’ll have to think about your budget or keep an eye out for bargains during holidays like Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Black Friday.

NordicTrack has an entire line of treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, and rowing machines that come equipped with a free year of iFIT training. This rivals the Peloton experience in that iFIT offers live classes, on-demand classes, and scenic workouts in places all over the country. One of my favorite things about these high-tech bikes with interactive programming is that the resistance levels and incline change automatically for you.

NordicTrack S22i bike standing alone.

The S22i is easy to assemble by yourself, though NordicTrack recommends two people. The process is very involved, as you have to attach everything yourself, including doing the wiring on the console. Speaking of the console, it’s a massive, 22-inch full-color HD touchscreen. It’s huge and beautiful, but it also makes moving the bike around a bit of a clunky process. I was afraid of slamming the screen into tables and corners as I maneuvered it around the room.

Read our full NordicTrack S22i review.

Best Budget Air Bike: Titan Fan Bike

Good for: Those who want a durable air bike at a budget-friendly price 

Budget Air Bike
Titan Fan Bike
Titan Fan Bike

The Titan Fitness® Fan Bike is bigger and brawnier made with 111-pounds of heavy-gauge steel to help take your workout to the next level. This bike is integrated with sealed cartridge bearings in every pivot, reinforced pedals, and cranks, and is fashioned around a heavy-duty steel frame with a powder-coated finish. Additionally, the Fan Bike features a high contrast LCD console tailored to fit your specific goals. From endurance and stamina training to HIIT and Tabata — choose from a range of interval training programs for a total body workout. This Fan Bike’s compact design makes it easy to use anywhere and with durable 10-inch turf tires, moving this bike is easy across any terrain. Plus, it’s loaded with all the extras that come standard: fan guard, water bottle holder, phone holder, and a built-in back handle for easy maneuverability.

Pros:

  • Large turf tires and handle on the back for easy maneuvering
  • Priced under $700
  • Has a water bottle holder and a phone holder
  • Movable arms for a total body workout
  • Fan guard you can put on to keep the breeze at bay if it’s cold outside

Cons:

  • High-maintenance chain drive system
  • It’s an air bike, so it’s going to make a fair amount of noise
  • Short one-year warranty

Across the board, equipment from Titan Fitness is typically budget-friendly without sacrificing quality. This rings true of the Titan Fan Bike, which costs less than $700, is like a pimped-out version of the AssaultBike Classic, and is one of the best cheap exercise bikes. I say that because the Titan Fan Bike has conveniences the AssaultBike does not, like a red water bottle holder and a cell phone holder on top of the monitor.

titan fan bike

Another key perk of the Titan Fan Bike is a fan guard, which is usually extra with other bikes, or not even offered at all. Yes, if it’s the dead heat of summer, the breeze from an air bike is a welcome thing. But if you’re like me and have very cold winters, a fan guard is nice to keep that air from blowing on you. The bike also has these huge turf wheels on the front so you can easily move it around your garage or home.

Like the Assault Bike, the Titan Fan Bike uses a chain drive system, which is high maintenance because you have to take care of it, just like you would take care of the chain on a road bike. Also similar to many air bikes, the monitor leaves much to be desired. It’s a simple LCD display with just a few preset workout buttons.

Read my full Titan Fan Bike review here.

Best Budget Exercise Bike: Sunny Health and Fitness Indoor Cycle Bike (SF-B1002)

Good for: Cyclists on a budget seeking a low-maintenance bike

Best For the Money
Sunny Health and Fitness SF-B1002 Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Trainer
Sunny Health and Fitness SF-B1002 Belt Drive Indoor Cycling Trainer

STATIONARY BIKE: The sturdy steel frame, heavy 49 lb weighted flywheel and 275 maximum user weight gives this bike a rock solid build that will keep it moving ride after ride. RESISTANCE: Resistance system gives you the experience of a realistic, real-road feeling. Push down emergency brake will bring the bike to an immediate stop. SILENT RIDE: Experience a smooth and quiet ride with the maintenance free belt drive system which allows you to workout without interrupting your workout or anyone around you. CUSTOMIZABILITY: 4-Way adjustable seat and 2-way adjustable handlebars adapt to any user type. Use the toe clip pedals with straps to keep your feet in place. BOTTLE HOLDER: Stay hydrated throughout your workout. This convenient bottle holder is built into the frame for easy access.FOOT PEDAL STYLE: caged

Pros:

  • Priced under $400
  • 49-pound flywheel provides a smooth ride
  • Hundreds of micro levels of resistance adjusted manually
  • Four-way adjustable seat and two-way adjustable multi-grip handlebars
  • Conveniences like water bottle holder and transportation wheels

Cons:

  • Leather pad resistance will eventually require maintenance
  • No monitor or display at all
  • No tech compatibility
  • No preset workouts

The Sunny Health and Fitness Belt Drive Indoor Cycle Exercise Bike (SF-B1002)(wow, that’s a mouthful) is one of our favorite budget-friendly exercise bikes. Seriously, we’ve had several people on our team say they’re big fans of it. 

For a budget exercise bike under $350, you get a super-quiet, belt-driven bike that won’t drown out the TV or wake up your roommates if you’re getting an early morning ride in. And the durable 49-pound flywheel provides a smooth ride while making each workout challenging. There’s also hundreds of manual micro adjustment levels, so you can go from a calm Sunday ride to a mountain bike-level experience in seconds. And because it has a four-way adjustable seat, just about anyone will be able to use it. 

That’s a lot for a budget-friendly exercise bike, but you do have to sacrifice some conveniences. That will mostly come in the form of tech (there’s no screen or built-in workout programs on this one), and the leather pad resistance will need maintenance from time to time. Some people don’t care about those features, so if you fall into that category and are simply looking for a good workout every time you hop on, we think you’ll be pleased with this bike. 

Don’t just take our word for it, though. This is one of the most-reviewed exercise bikes on Amazon, and despite having more than 9,000 reviews, it has a rating of 4.4/5 stars. For a bike under $350 with free shipping to your door, that’s hard to ignore.

RELATED: Ultimate $1,000 Budget Home Gym

Best Exercise Bike for HIIT: CAROL Bike

Good for: Trainees who want an intense workout experience 

Best for HIIT
CAROL Bike
CAROL Bike

The CAROL Bike provides what is known as Reduced Exertion High-intensity Interval Training or REHIT. This type of training is generally much shorter in duration but with the user expending maximum effort. These REHIT sessions provide an intense workout in a small amount of time.

Pros:

  • Science-backed intervals
  • Automated and highly-effective resistance system
  • Many adjustments to fit bike to any body type

Cons:

  • Has a small monitor (may not be a problem for some) 
  • Costs $2,400, but you have to pay extra for things like a ​​water bottle holder or tablet holder

The reason the CAROL bike is so great for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is because it uses artificial intelligence to learn how fit you are and customizes the resistance for you during your ride. So if it senses you’re pedaling too easily, it will kick up the resistance without you having to touch a thing to make the ride more challenging, and vice-versa when it’s time to cool down. 

And it keeps up with your fitness levels, making each ride harder the better you get at it. You can easily get a sweat-inducing, heart-pounding ride in under 10 minutes on this thing. It does all of this while still being quiet and smooth, thanks to the belt-drive system and 30-pound flywheel. 

Coop riding the CAROL bike.

A bonus is that it comes with dual pedals, so you can wear regular shoes or bicycle cleats if you decide to attach the SPD clips. But there’s also quite a bit that it doesn’t come with: mainly a water bottle or tablet holder. Strictly speaking, these aren’t necessary on an exercise bike, but it’s a little annoying to have to pay around $2,400 for the bike and not have the convenience of a cold beverage right within arm’s reach. 

It also doesn’t update its programming regularly, so if you’re someone who likes following an instructor, you may have to pay extra for things like Peloton or iFIT classes. 

But if you’re a cycling fanatic or want the best cardio experience on the market, we can’t recommend this bike enough. 

To find out more, read our full CAROL bike review

Best Exercise Bike Under $500: YOSUDA Bike

Good for: Anyone looking for a budget-friendly exercise bike who doesn’t care about getting the best-of-the-best

Under $500
YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike
YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike

The Yosuda Bike is a budget-friendly Peloton alternative perfect for people in small spaces or who just want a simple machine for cardio workouts. It features a heavy flywheel, a belt drive system, has an iPad mount, and adjustable cage pedals.To be clear, this isn't the best indoor cycling bike out there and there's some concerns about its durability. There are several hundred reviews stating it starts to fall apart after a few months, but people seem to love it for the most part. So buy at your own risk.One great thing about this bike is that you can buy it and then stream Peloton workout classes.

Pros:

  • Priced at around $300 
  • Compact and easily portable 
  • Caged pedals for extra grip
  • Free year of replacement parts

Cons:

  • No dynamic programming  
  • Bike is not durable and parts deteriorate quite easily  
  • Some reviews claim the bike has fallen apart during use

The YOSUDA Indoor Cycling Bike sells for around $300, and it provides a great cycling workout experience. You can customize your ride each time with the manual microadjustment, and it comes with a 35-pound flywheel that simulates road cycling and a belt-drive that provides a quiet and smooth ride. 

The caged pedals are also easily adjustable and should fit people of all foot sizes. The entire bike is compact and lightweight, and we found that there was minimal wobbling during more intense rides. You won’t get any built-in dynamic programming, but for an exercise bike that’s under $500, that’s to be expected. 

Yosuda bike in GGR warehouse

To be clear, this isn’t a bike for those who are serious about cycling, be that indoors or outdoors. The main reason we say that is this is not a well-built piece of equipment. The seat cover on ours is already tearing, the LCD monitor felt flimsy even though we tried tightening it, and there are multiple online reviews claiming it fell apart during use. 

In other words, if you just need an exercise bike now and want to spend the least amount of money we’d recommend this one. This isn’t a bike that can take intense daily use, but it should be fine if you only use it a few times a week to maintain your cardiovascular fitness.   

For more, read our full YOSUDA bike review

Best Exercise Bike to Simulate Outdoor Riding: Bowflex VeloCore

Good for: Anyone who wants to feel like they’re riding an actual bicycle while remaining indoors 

Just Like a Real Bike
Bowflex VeloCore
Bowflex VeloCore

Meet the indoor bike that's thoughtfully engineered with leaning mode to create a wildly immersive riding experience. You'll rock, sway, and bend to life down winding roads. Tilting gently from side to side as you sprint like a banshee toward the finish line. It's a high-intensity escape that'll help to ignite your arms, core, and your thrill for epic outdoor adventure…all from your living room.Take a look at our full Bowflex VeloCore Bike review.

Pros:

  • Makes you feel like you’re riding an outdoor bike
  • Large monitor makes it easy to follow workout classes 
  • Incredibly stable and durable 
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Unclear and difficult assembly instructions  
  • Seat isn’t comfortable 
  • Warranty isn’t the best (only two years for the frame) 

Exercise bikes can simulate the cycling experience, in that you’re pedaling and can change the resistance so it feels like you’re going up and down hills, but it still doesn’t feel quite the same. The Bowflex VeloCore changes that with its “leaning feature.” Simply hit the giant red button in front of the seat and the frame begins to lean, forcing you to use your core to steady yourself. 

This does two things: forces you to work your core muscles a little more than a traditional upright or recumbent bike, and makes it feel like you’re pedaling down an open road. Granted, you don’t have to worry about falling over at any time like on a real bike (the base remains steady) but it does add a little bit of spice to your home workouts. 

bowflex velocore bike from front

The bike also comes with a two-month subscription to JRNY programming, Bowflex’s answer to iFIT and Zwift, that comes with plenty of workout programming options that you can access after taking a 15-minute fitness assessment. In terms of workout experience, our only complaint is that there’s no digital resistance adjustment so you have to change it manually when your instructor tells you to (which can disrupt your flow). 

It’s also a very heavy-duty bike and we found there was virtually no shaking, even during standing climbs. Speaking of standing, you may find yourself doing that more often than not because this seat is rock-hard (luckily, it’s easily replaceable). The assembly also isn’t the easiest, but once it’s all together, we think you’ll enjoy riding on this thing. 

Find out more by reading our full Bowflex VeloCore review

Best Exercise Bike Without Arms: Concept2 BikeErg

Good for: People who want to feel their quads burn from a Concept2-quality machine

5.00
No Arms, No Problem
Concept 2 BikeErg
Concept 2 BikeErg

The Concept 2 BikeErg is an air bike popular in CrossFit gyms and among people who really want to feel the burn in their legs.  It uses air resistance generated by a fanned flywheel.  How much effort or power you put into pedaling affects how much resistance there is. The harder you pedal, the more resistance you will feel. For example, riding up a challenging hill.   The lighter you pedal the less resistance creating a smoother, easy ride.   Like the Concept 2 Rower, the BikeErg has damper settings that can be changed to adjust the resistance you would want on the bike.  The PM5 performance monitor allows you to see your pace, watts, rpm and calories in real time.  The PM5 Performance Monitor is Bluetooth-compatible, allowing you to connect to Concept2 ErgData app or hook up a wireless heart rate belt. The monitor is generated by the flywheel as soon as you start pedaling, however it still requires two D-cell batteries.  The Concept2 BikeErg is lightweight and easy to assemble making it easily portable.  The seat and handlebars are adjustable to fit any person. For the bike enthusiast, you have the option to  attach your own bike seat, handlebars, or even pedals.

Pros:

  • Low maintenance with a flywheel and damper system
  • Performance monitor tracks nearly every metric you can think of
  • Bluetooth connectivity for heart rate monitoring and fitness apps
  • Saddle, handles, and pedals can be switched out for your own preferences
  • Simple assembly and weighs just 68 pounds

Cons:

  • Performance monitor is an LCD screen
  • There are about 10 built-in workouts, but no on-demand or interactive classes
  • No water bottle holder
  • Five-year limited warranty

Concept2 BikeErg is the bike that, when released, absolutely took the CrossFit world by storm. This is largely because its maker, Concept2, dominates the rowing machine market. The BikeErg and the Concept2 rowers weren’t designed for CrossFitters (although they are both great for those that compete and train CrossFit). The BikeErg was actually designed more with traditional cyclists in mind.

Now if you’re wondering if the BikeErg delivers a killer workout, the answer is a resounding YES. It’s different from a traditional exercise bike in that it uses a flywheel and damper system where the wind generates resistance, as opposed to a brake. And trust me, the BikeErg can absolutely make you cry like a little baby if used properly.

Concept2 has taken what they do exceedingly well—building very durable and effective equipment like the Model D Rower (which is, by far, my favorite and one of the best rowing machines out there)—and applied it to an exercise bike equivalent. It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing design, I will admit, but it is made to take a beating and keep on going.

Coop has more than 1 million meters on the one that he’s been testing for a few years, and despite it being absolutely used and abused in his garage gym, as well as in his personal training studio, it’s as good as it was on day one. Now, that’s special.

Check out our in-depth Concept 2 BikeErg review.

Best Folding Exercise Bike: Marcy Foldable Bike

Good for: Anyone who needs a compact and budget-friendly exercise bike

Best Foldable
Marcy Fitness Upright Foldable Exercise Bike
Marcy Fitness Upright Foldable Exercise Bike

The Marcy Foldable Magnetic Resistance Upright Bike is a Garage Gym Reviews top pick for folding exercise bikes. It has eight levels of magnetic resistance, an adjustable seat and adjustable pedals, and it's made out of durable 14-gauge steel tubing.

Pros:

  • Feels sturdy and smooth during use 
  • Easy to fold and store 
  • Simple assembly process

Cons:

  • Not for people of high fitness levels  
  • Max user weight is only 250 pounds
  • Only comes with a 90-day warranty 

People with compact home gyms or those living in studio apartments need something that can be stowed away when not in use. Enter the Marcy Foldable Bike, an upright exercise bike that costs around $160 and can easily fit behind a couch, under a bed, or anywhere else that’s not in your way. 

On the surface, this is like any other upright bike you’ll find on the market but it comes with its own companion app to track your ride history and stats. This is incredibly rare for a folding exercise bike, and while it doesn’t improve its functionality at all, it’s a cool feature and does increase its value just a little bit. 

The Marcy Foldable Exercise Bike in a living room

The workout experience itself is smooth, and the bike doesn’t wobble much at all though we did hear some creaking on it. There’s eight different resistance levels that help get the job done, but if you’re someone who’s really into cardio you probably should go for something a little more challenging. 

You should also know this bike only has a max user weight of 250 pounds, and only has a 90-day warranty. We wouldn’t recommend treating this thing like a Peloton, but if you want something to keep active while watching TV then this is a good choice. 

Best Exercise Bike with Screen: Peloton Bike

Good for: People with money to burn seeking interactive and on-demand classes

One of the Best
Peloton Indoor Exercise Bike
Peloton Indoor Exercise Bike

Peloton has taken the fitness world by storm, gaining celebrity-like status—and for good reason. The Peloton fitness community offers exclusive access to thousands of live and on-demand fitness classes, challenges, leaderboards, and an endless variety of workout types. And, their line of premium cardio machines is as impressive as their platform. Perhaps most well-known in the Peloton line of fitness equipment is the Peloton Bike. This bike has a compact footprint at only 2-feet by 4-feet, which makes it a good fit in both small and large spaces. In addition to the virtual training platform, the Peloton Bike itself comes with top-of-the-line components. Its heavy-duty frame is made from welded steel and powder coated for a sleek look. The power transmission belt drive is responsive and provides enough resistance to challenge any athlete. An ergonomic Sports series saddle takes some time getting used to, but it’s suitable for most users. The bike supports a user weight up to 297 pounds. The Peloton Bike comes equipped with a vivid, 10-point multitouch, 21.5-inch  touchscreen display that displays in-workout metrics like power, cadence, resistance, and heart rate. What’s more, this screen tilts to adjust to user height, which enhances the immersive experience. A rear-facing stereo speaker system, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, a built-in microphone, and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity keeps you entertained and connected throughout any workout. A monthly subscription to Peloton—$39 for the all-access membership (going up to $44 per month on June 1, 2022)—is required to use the bike, which does add to the total cost. But, the reality is that if you’re considering a Peloton bike, it’s probably because you plan on becoming a part of the Peloton fitness community. While this bike carries a hefty price tag, it comes with many impressive features and connectivity that can enhance your exercise routine.

Pros:

  • Impeccable live and on-demand programming
  • Silent, comfortable ride
  • Tech game is on point: Bluetooth speakers, full-color touchscreen
  • Sleek design
  • Weight capacity up to 300 pounds

Cons:

  • Starts at nearly $1,500, with additional moolah required for the subscription app
  • Subscription required to make the bike worth it
  • Specific Peloton-friendly cycling shoes are required (and cost more)

Honestly, how could we not include the Peloton Indoor Exercise Bike, the ultimate smart bike? There are few pieces of gym equipment that have revolutionized the home gym training market quite as much as the Peloton Bike. Yes, we’ve all seen the commercials; it’s not just hype, this bike is revolutionary and has changed the industry.

RELATED: Best Smart Home Gym Equipment

The reason I recommend the Peloton Bike isn’t because it’s built extremely well. In fact, the bike itself isn’t all that good. Reviews constantly mention it breaking down, warranty replacements taking a while, and just an overall bad experience with the hardware on the bike.

Best Exercise Bike With Screen: Peloton Bike

However, what causes people to continue flocking to the bike like seagulls on a trash-filled beach? The experience. Seriously, there is nothing else like the Peloton Bike experience. We’ve tested and reviewed many Peloton alternatives (and even have some recommended on this list) but few can compare to the feeling of taking a Peloton cycling class.

An exercise bike is only as good as the workout it produces. If you don’t use it, it’s worthless outside of the clothes you use to hang on it for drying purposes. This is why Peloton is so great. Nearly every rider who owns a Peloton Bike works out more than they would without it because of the live classes. If you struggle to workout at home, Peloton is truly your best option.

Other Exercises Bikes We Researched

Ten exercise bikes are a lot, but if you think those are the only ones we researched or tested, you must be new around here. Here are the other bikes that didn’t quite make the final cut. 

NordicTrack S15i: This bike has similar features to the NordicTrack S22i, but with a smaller screen and fewer resistance levels. It’s not a bad exercise bike, we just find it’s worth it to pay a little more for the extra features on its bigger brother. 

Fringe Sport Raptor Air Bike: Coop really liked the Fringe Sport Raptor Air Bike when he first reviewed it and even said it could be a Rogue Echo killer. Since that was written, the bike has increased to nearly $1,000, nearly $200 more than the Echo. 

Schwinn IC4: The Schwinn IC4 bike is a great, sturdy bike but at $800 all you get is a bike. There are no tech features or built-in workouts, and the workout experience is about on par with what you could find on a more budget-friendly bike. 

Schwinn Airdyne AD7: This is another air bike that costs more than the Rogue Echo Bike, and while it comes with a more advanced display, we don’t think that’s worth the extra price. 

AssaultBike Classic: Before the Rogue Echo took over as the CrossFit Games’ official air bike, CrossFitters everywhere were putting pedal to the metal on this air bike. It’s around $50 cheaper than the Echo, and works just as well, but if you’re a serious CrossFitter you might as well go for the official bike. 

Xterra Fitness FB150 Folding Bike: This folding exercise bike costs just a little more than $100, but our testers were simply underwhelmed and found even getting it out of the box was a challenge. 

Echelon SmartConnect: In terms of functionality, this bike is pretty much on par with a Peloton, but pricier.   

How We Picked and Tested

It’s important to me to give our Garage Gym Review family all the information they need to make a great buying decision. We carefully selected the exercise bikes we wanted to test and tested each one. From there, we used the bikes for multiple workouts. 

While testing, we made sure to consider the following things:

Adjustability: How adjustable is this bike? Can the handlebars be moved? Is the seat adjustable both horizontally and vertically? How tall and short of a person can this bike accommodate?

Durability: How much does the bike weigh assembled? How much weight can this bike support? Is the bike sturdy? What materials are the bikes made of? How do those materials generally hold up over time? Do the handlebars or screen wiggle when in use?

Ease of setup: How easy is the setup? Were the directions simple to follow? Were the parts clearly labeled? Do you need additional tools not included to complete assembly? Are there options to have a professional with the company assemble the bike for a fee?

Warranty: What is the warranty? How does this warranty compare to other bikes in the same price range?

Resistance levels: How many resistance levels does this bike have?

Price: How expensive is this exercise bike? Is this bike a good value? How does it compare to other bikes on the market price-wise?

Technology: Does the bike have a compatible app? Do you have to pay a membership fee to utilize the app? Is there an included display? What kind of screen is the display? How large is the screen? Is it a touchscreen? Does the screen swivel or move?

Size: How large is the bike? Can it be easily moved? Is it foldable? Do you need extra people to help move it?

Ergonomics: How comfortable is the seat? Can you replace the seat easily? Can you replace the pedals? Are the pedals clip-ins or caged?

Extras: Are there extra accessories you can buy for the bike? What extra cupholders or weights are included in the purchase?

How To Choose The Best Exercise Bike For You

The best exercise bike is completely subjective because what works for you might not work for someone else. I’ve developed a how to choose an exercise bike guide based on one’s living space, budget, and fitness goals. Here are our suggestions for items to consider when looking for an indoor exercise bike:

Coop riding the Schwinn IC4 Bike in a gym with a row of other exercise bikes in background

Which Type Of Exercise Bike Is Right For You?

There are several types and styles of stationary bikes, each serving a different purpose:

Air Bike: An air bike, which is truly a pain machine, uses air for resistance. The pedals—and in many cases, movable arms—turn the fan, giving you a full-body workout. The levels of resistance on an air bike do not adjust; essentially, the faster you go, the harder it is.

Most air bikes are lightweight and easy to move. They are often in a most affordable price range compared to other at-home exercise bikes, as air bikes have very simple monitors and usually only a few preset workouts, if any.

Studio Cycle Bike: A studio cycle bike is exactly as the name suggests: A bike you would find in a typical studio cycle class. It looks similar to a road bike when it comes to pedal, seat, and handlebar positioning. The wheel is often a flywheel, which is weighted and creates stability on the machine.

Resistance may either be friction-based, like a brake, or magnetic, which is lower maintenance. Your body position using an exercise cycle bike is usually either leaning forward or out of the saddle, leaning further over the handles (as though you are climbing a hill).

Recumbent Exercise Bike: Recumbent exercise bikes are known for large, comfortable seats that have backs to them. The pedals are located out in front of your body, and there are often handles on either side of the seat for you to hold. These are great for very low-impact exercise, either for seniors or people recovering from an injury.

Upright Exercise Bike: The upright exercise bike is a fairly rare breed and not one you see often. The pedals are located almost directly under the seat, and the handles are closer to your body. This puts you in a completely upright position on the bike.

For many people, this creates lower amounts of strain on the back than, say, a studio cycle bike. One benefit to upright exercise bikes is that they often have a very small footprint, as they tend to be taller as opposed to longer or wider.

What Type Of Exercise Bike Resistance Is Best?

Resistance is what makes biking harder like you would feel climbing a hill if you were on the road. The type of resistance a bike uses actually does matter, if you care about some of the particulars:

Magnetic Resistance: Magnetic resistance is found on bikes that use flywheels, which are heavy, metal wheels that provide the bike greater stability the heavier they are. The advantages to magnetic resistance are that it is often quiet, which is great if you exercise around people, and it is much lower maintenance than other forms of resistance. One downside is that magnetic resistance is often more expensive.

Fan-Based Resistance: Air bikes have a fan that generates resistance. The faster you pedal, the more the fan turns, and the harder it gets. Be aware, fan bikes are anything but silent. You will hear that whirring sound as the fan moves faster. However, fan bikes are lower maintenance than friction-based resistance bikes, and at least you get a cool breeze as you exercise.

Friction Resistance: The friction-based resistance model tends to be the most affordable because it is the easiest to build. Pads on either side of the flywheel tighten to make the wheel harder to turn. You do get what you pay for, so be aware that the pads wear down and will need to be replaced if you bike often.

How Durable Is The Bike?

Durability shows up in many ways in bikes. If you’re going to invest hundreds of dollars in a piece of equipment, it should be something that lasts. Some key points:

  • What is the weight capacity of the machine? Many exercise bikes can hold 300+ pounds, but some are weighted for less.
  • Does it have stabilizers on the bottom to ensure a flat surface and a smooth ride?
  • What is the warranty? The best exercise bikes are guaranteed for five or more years.

How Important Are Ergonomics?

A bike needs to be ergonomically sound or else your workout will wreck you. At a minimum, the seat should adjust vertically to accommodate people of all sizes. However, there are several other considerations to take into account:

  • A padded seat so you don’t get that horrible butt hurt
  • A seat that also adjusts horizontally
  • Pedals that are caged or clipped, depending on your riding preference
  • Padded handlebars, or handlebars that offer multiple grip positions

Do You Need Preset Workouts?

Some people have no problem hopping on a bike and working toward their fitness goals without any guidance. Others need a little help. Bikes today have all kinds of options, such as the following:

  • Built-in preset workouts, like interval training that adjust resistance as you go
  • The ability to connect via Bluetooth to free or paid apps that offer workouts
  • A full-color touchscreen that displays rides through the various landscapes and adjusts resistance as you go (as you’ll find with apps like iFIT from NordicTrack and the Peloton app)
  • Live and on-demand classes available via apps
  • Community-based challenges, like riding 10,000 miles in a month

How Much Space Do You Have?

Any cardio equipment is going to take up space in your place. Treadmills and ellipticals, for example, have incredibly large footprints. Bikes are a little more space-friendly. In fact, there are folding exercise bikes that you can store in a closet. Check out the measurements as well as looking for how heavy the bike is and how easy it is to move, especially if you’re dealing with small spaces.

RELATED: Exercise Equipment for Small Spaces

How Much Do You Want To Spend?

The bottom line is just that: the bottom line. If you want quality in a bike, you’re going to be paying at least $500 or more. High-end bikes are easily close to $2,000 plus if you want to splurge. You can certainly find bikes under $500, like the Sunny Health & Fitness bike mentioned above, but too much lower than that, and you’re probably sacrificing quality.

What Features Are Important To You?

It’s 2022. A “smart bike” is actually a thing. We made them (gasp!) smart. So here we go, a list of features you might want on your exercise bike:

  • Bluetooth speakers
  • WiFi connectivity (might actually be required if your bike uses an app)
  • Cooling fan
  • Water bottle holder
  • Tablet holder
  • USB charging port
  • Holders for dumbbells
  • HD touchscreen display
  • Connectivity to other fitness apps, like MyFitnessPal
  • On-demand and live studio classes
  • Heart rate monitoring, either via pulse grips or a wireless device
  • Streaming capabilities so you can watch Netflix or other apps

RELATED: Workout Trackers

Exercise Bikes FAQs

What’s the best exercise bike for a beginner?

The ideal exercise bike for beginners would be one that suits his or her fitness goals and budget. That’s why we’ve given you options for exercise bikes that are good for CrossFit, good for people on a budget, and good for those who just want to ride and get a cardio workout from the comfort of their own home gym.

How often should I cycle on an exercise bike to get fit?

Every exercise regimen should be one that a doctor approves. That said, health organizations are generally in line with people exercising about 30 minutes to an hour a day, three times a week.

The American Heart Association states that 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week, is necessary for heart health (this is why you see some fitness trackers like FitBit and Garmin with a 150-minute goal). An easy way to approach it is to start by working out three days a week, especially if you’re new to it, and slowly building in intensity or frequency, or both.

Is bike cycling good exercise?

Of all the different types of cardio workouts, cycling tends to have one of the lowest impacts on your joints. Running can put a lot of strain on the knees, hips, and ankles, especially if you are running with bad form.

Cycling gets your heart rate up, forces your legs to work hard while pedaling against resistance, and can be really fun. That’s the trifecta of exercise: burn calories, build muscle, and have a blast doing it.

Are exercise bikes as good as real bikes?

Exercise bikes are an excellent way to get some exercise. The whole idea of an exercise bike is to challenge your legs and cardiovascular system. Certainly, you won’t get much of an upper-body workout. While your legs will still get the most attention, your entire core will be challenged as well.

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